Today’s CMOs and VPs of Marketing spend a large chunk of time learning and managing technology.
The pace and importance of this activity didn’t exist 20 years ago. But today’s B2B marketing leaders allot weeks and months to discovering new technology, assessing team needs, and assessing analytics and customer experience improvements. All the while, they still have to manage the day-to-day.
It’s tough work, requiring the ability to embrace the role of the learner and explorer, even if you’re at the top of the org chart. That’s why we’ll be discussing the blueprint for technology management in B2B.
Is the CMO Spending More On IT Than the CIO?
Marketers are spending a lot of money and martech is sure to make up the bulk of the expenses. Managing technology change is becoming an important area for marketers to gain experience in.
In 2012, Gartner predicted that CMOs will spend more IT than CIOs by 2017. Do marketers already spend more than their IT counterparts?
We surveyed over 350 B2B marketers across the US, asking them how much they plan to spend next year. Based on company size and average annual revenue, we use a box and whisker plot to show the median marketing spend planned for the next year.
Let’s take a look at the plots and discuss the trends we see.
Starting with a refresher, here’s what the box and whisker plot denotes. The below example is a distribution of test scores:
A few more things to note: the y-axis is in a logarimthmic scale with base 10, meaning the increments increase by 10X on the y-axis.
In the survey itself we asked marketers to select from a range, asking, do you plan to spend between $100K-$500, $1M - $5M, and etc. We transformed these ranges into numeric values in order to plot them in a clean fashion (taking the average of the range, e.g. $1M-$5M was transformed into a numeric value of $2.5M). Where there is no upper or lower quartile (blue box), it means that quartile is the same as the median.
Median spending for B2B companies with 26-200 employees is $500K. The mean average for companies with 201-1000 employees is $3.4M. Companies with a thousand or more employees figure to spend an average of $7M, with median spending at $2.5M.
That’s a lot of budget and a boon for marketing technology companies. We’ll be covering how you can manage technology change and innovation in this post. First, let’s look at one more chart. This is spending based on average annual revenue.
Above we see another increasing trend in marketing spend as annual revenue increases. Spending among companies with $10M to $500M in annual revenue have a wide range of values, spanning from as low as $200K to as high as $2.5M in the upper quartile (meaning a quarter of companies with $10 - $500M in annual revenue are spending around $2.5M on marketing).
For large companies spending $500M or more, the median spending level is $2.5M, same as lower quartile, with the upper quartile spending sitting at $10M.
Managing Technology With The B2B MarTech Alignment Framework
For any B2B marketer who manages a team and the technology they use, Jacques Begin, Research Director at SiriusDecisions luckily has created the Technology Alignment Framework. It’s a way for marketing leaders to build or build on their technology infrastructure in a way that helps sales, marketing and product.
Technology that only improves one team has less return than an aligned effort. According to SiriusDecisions, highly aligned B2B organizations achieve 19 percent faster revenue growth and 15 percent higher profitability -- and technology alignment is a key factor.
So where to start?
Begin’s framework starts with the discovery and analysis phase. Starting with a vision, B2B marketers have to gain a broad understanding of what’s happening and what’s possible.
Deliberately taking time to read, attend conferences and events, and talking to fellow marketing leaders is necessary to understand what companies are learning and how to take those learnings back to your organization.
Learn. That’s step one. Begin advises that B2B marketers should be constantly learning and discovering new technologies and possibilities. He advises spending 10% of your time demoing and learning about new marketing technologies. The attitude of “always be learning” is critical to success for any job role requiring leadership.
Step two is doing an audit and analysis of the gaps in marketing technology. Where are there knowledge gaps that would help your teams make better decisions? What are the needs of individual teams?
After identifying the gaps, the inevitable question appears: can these gaps be solved with martech?
One important gap we often discuss is around martech and measurability. According to Ruth Stevens, president of eMarketing Strategy, CMOs and VPs of Marketing are under increasing pressure to measure revenue and ROI because when it comes to digital, their upper management teams assume all touchpoints and campaigns are measurable in terms of profitability.
Martech can help marketing teams speak the same language as the sales team by using sales metrics to measure marketing performance. But marketing leaders need to start with stakeholder interviews before considering a technology solution. Here are three tips from Begin when analyzing your martech needs:
Focus on stakeholder needs first, then focus on process and data gathering.
Dealing With The Nitty Gritty Of Managing MarTech
An organizational shift in adopting a new process and marketing technology can be a slog.
We get it. When working with multiple teams and forming a steering committee there are a lot of dependencies.
Sticking to the perfect plan you created at the start of the quarter or month is almost guaranteed not to happen. Implementing a marketing technology initiative is like Willy Wonka trying to complete a tour of his chocolate factory. Things happen.
Teams have to put out fires, hustle to close important deals or start other initiatives, or lose interest.
While your initiative may hit bumps along the way there are tactics you can use to get back on track. Jacques Begin advises to have a one-on-one with important stakeholders, publicize wins, find an influencer in your organization who can assist you, and leverage authoritative numbers/examples that prove the value of your initiative.
Time To Get Started
Martech is a hot commodity but there is so much out there. It can get overwhelming. It’s easier to do nothing but that’s not your style.
Travis Wright, martech industry thought leader, recently wrote a cheat sheet for marketing technology on Inc. In it he lists 13 categories of martech, each of which make up a component of the marketing stack.
Wright lists analytics and tracking first on the list. We couldn’t agree more. We’ll assume this was on purpose. Tracking leads all the way through the funnel to sales closed is essential to successful B2B marketing. Measuring and replicating marketing campaigns that have the greatest impact on revenue is possible with analytics and tracking technology.
Keeping a focus on revenue generation and proving marketing’s profitability is pipeline marketing 101. There is no course or curriculum on managing change around martech at your B2B organization. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing. So stop reading and go check on that steering committee.